Tuesday, 9 August 2011


It is heart-breaking to see what is happening in London recently. Be under no illusion that this wanton destruction is about protest; this is about theft. The people doing this don’t want to talk or bargain; they don’t wish to lobby for answers, better employment or less cuts. They just want free trainers. They really don’t care if they burn down a person’s business or home, damage communities or historical buildings, and destroy trust. None of that seems to matter if you can get a free, slightly cracked, plasma TV. They think it’s a game with no consequences.

Sadly, the consequences for a community and London as a whole go much further than an individual person being arrested for their crimes. Shops that once had pretty glass fronts may be tempted to put up ugly metal shutters. Barriers could be raised where once there were none; restrictions might be in place where once movement was free. That’s what they don’t realise, these silly people.

There is pride in being a responsible person in the world. With pride comes respect – respect for yourself and respect for those around you, for the natural world and how amazing it is to be alive. Being kind costs nothing and yet the dividend is priceless – far higher than anything they can steal.

I hope one day these people looting realise this.

PS - This post is opinion only, not an analysis.


Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

It feels like there is a lot of anger beneath the surface in the world right now. It makes me sad and I'm sorry for what is going on. It could certainly happen anywhere, and it's alarming how quickly things can spin out of control.

Jenny said...

I have been praying for London so hard this week. I'm so sorry that all of that is happening. :(

Laura said...

Thoughtful piece.

Hart Johnson said...

It's so sad, isn't it? I really understand the unrest underneath, but the lack of thought for who they hurt with this... It's not the rich people who've gotten fat--they can take a small setback. It's the regular everyday person paying high prices because of insurance claims--and all the things you mentioned. I'd like to see a revolution, to be honest, but an orderly lawful one where the people who've gotten so rich on the backs of everyone else have to give back what they never really should have made--not this. This hurts the wrong people.

Maria Zannini said...

I've been following your tweets with a heavy heart.

I also read what I would call a broadly liberal journalist's blog about the despair of these looters, and I thought, uh-uh, honey. Despair doesn't give you the right to destroy other people's lives.

On the bright side, I am hearing about how people are picking up their lives and cleaning up.

Hang in there, Jayne. The rest of the world is watching. I pray you stay safe.

Donna Hosie said...

I've been following your tweets, and those of my friends in the thick of it, with a heavy heart as well.

The whole thing makes me so angry I could scream.

Happy Frog and I said...

I was glad to see a tweet from you saying things had calmed down a bit where you are. As you know my thoughts are with you, my family and friends and everyone affected by this.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Very eloquent words.
Thank you.

Old Kitty said...

I hope you're ok Jayne!!!

We at work had to leave early on the advice of the police. Crikey!

I'm hoping the forecast of thunderstorms and heavy rain will dampen this need to destroy by mob-rule.

Take care

snafu said...

In an age where top directors can earn hundreds of times more than their employees and society has allowed a generation of disillusioned and un-educated children to grow up with no prospects of ever getting anywhere honestly. Without any background of moral or social education, seeing an opportunity to get something for nothing and get an adrenaline high in the process is much too tempting. The perpetrators have never been told why they should not do this by anyone they respect and most certainly will not have thought through what their actions are leading too. It is easy to stand on the moral high ground and condemn them. Of course they are wrong, but they have not been taught that from their families or their peer group. For much too long our society has been trying to patch over the symptoms of crime and yobbish behaviour and not the causes and with every generation it gets harder to change the kind of people who are prepared to smash up their own community just for fun, into responsible people.

Emily R. King said...

I agree. It's so heart-breaking. There are other ways to be heard!

Unknown said...

Thank you for your piece, it's very thoughtful. It's disheartening and sad, all that's going on, whatever happen to right from wrong and respect, no matter if you are rich or poor?

Maggie May said...

I think you have spoken for most of us really.
The whole thing is a disgrace. I can't understand why those youths feel it is their right to raid and steal and ruin other people's property and livelihoods.
If they really feel that disgruntled about having nothing (& I don't think that is the reason they are doing it) then they are making their own country even poorer and will have to pay for all the damage out of heavier taxes etc.
No..... like you said.... they are thieves looking out for a way to have fun.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Talli Roland said...

I'm with you, Jayne. It's not about issues for these people, it's about getting things without paying for them. Terrible.

Dolly said...

Well put, well said. I have avoided commenting as my heart has been heavy watching the news coming from my beloved London, and other parts of the UK. I lived in Tottenham during the riots in the 1980's. This is so different. What gives me hope, is the way the communities are pulling together, to clean up, move on and put pride back into the areas where they live and work. They, the "ordinary" people of our cities are to be thanked and appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with all that. How can you have respect or know what respect is about when you have no job, or when you have been raised in an environment where you can expect nothing and you have no future and no hope of getting a better life? Wouldn't you be angry then? Imagine an enviroment where the only respect you can get respect is by screaming the louder or being the faster to hit? I think these people are lost because they have nothing good happening with their lives. When objects start to matter more than people, don't you think it says a lot about how lost they are in their human ways? Anger doesn't reason. Anger is pain. And anger won't go away until there is hope again and there isn't any. It is easy to judge when our lives have been more or less stable all our lives and we have support and people to care for.

Jayne said...

Annoymous – I don’t usually respond to anonymous comments (or leave them up) but will have a bash at replying. For a start I don’t have to imagine the environment, I live there. And although you paint a sad picture of desperate people, the social demographic of the majority charged with looting has so far revealed people with jobs, people with prospects, people with families that care about them. It would be easier to think (and when I say easier, I mean easier to pigeon-hole, easier to stereotype and generalise, easier to understand in a way) that these are all poor desperate people, but they are not, and this reveals an underlying fundamental problem with society in general. This is what needs to be tackled, but as my post says, this is not intended as an analysis. I wrote this post in response to some media reporting saying the government should reason with the protesters – but they weren’t protesting, and there was no ‘one’ person to reason with.

Jayne said...

Melissa – It certainly does seem that way, and yes, very alarming.

Jenny – Ah thank you. What’s been happening around the country is desperately sad.

Laura – Thank you.

Hart – I think there should be more inspirational people talking in schools (ex-gang members turned community leaders, local people who made good, business-men who turned their life around) and more support given to teachers. I also think there should be schemes to brighten up neighbourhoods – more plants, more trees, clear rubbish, make them attractive places to live again.

Jayne said...

Maria – I read similar articles, and thought exactly the same. But on the bright side there are some real heart-warming stories of how people are helping others and raising money to restore lives and livelihoods.

Donna – Same here. It is symptomatic of wider problems, which hopefully the government will try and address. Tough uphill job.

Happy Frog – It was terrible watching reports from all around the UK.

Pamela – Thank you.

Old Kitty – It was the same with us on Tuesday.

Snafu – Very true. An analysis of the situation would have to take into account the wider picture. I think there is a generic whittling of standards that has been happening for years and it is so deep-rooted that it is fairly impossible to pinpoint just one cause.

Jayne said...

E.R King – I don’t think they want to be heard, which is part of the problem.

ATADesigns – It is disheartening and sad.

Maggie May – I think people are fed a media-rich diet that says tells them they can have it all, but forgets to show how people have to work bloody hard for that to happen. It’s tragic as they don’t understand the repercussions of their actions.

Talli – Totally agree.

Dolly – Absolutely. The ordinary folk are wonderful and thankfully the majority of people in the city are decent and lovely. You lived in Tottenham? We’d have been neighbours. :)